#HPBScentOfTheDay Challenge Roundup 2/4 | Hello Pretty Bird! - A beauty and not-so-glamorous lifestyle blog

17 May, 2014

#HPBScentOfTheDay Challenge Roundup 2/4

Sorry there wasn't an Indie Friday this week - I ended up taking a short-notice journey to a cemetery in New Jersey to visit some long-deceased relatives yesterday instead. My dad was in town and wanted to go. Fun for the whole family?

Anyway, I guess I'll be skipping Indie Friday until next week, but in the meantime here's the latest installment of my #HPBScentOfTheDay challenge, which features many indie fragrances.

May 9th: Darling Clandestine - Limerence
Scent notes: A floral for those who hate florals. Not “oriental” or grandmotherly, but a green, tangy, moody blend of bruised Casablanca lilies, bittersweet succulents, full-bodied herbal essentials, a heady crust of sea salt, and a wonderfully fine mitti attar that’s the essence of first rain hitting sun-baked earth.
I wrote about this in detail here. The only thing I don’t like about it is that the drydown can be a little sour on me - I still wear it sometimes though because it’s very lovely and green and heady upon the initial application, much like feeling of limerence itself. This isn't available in the DC shop at the moment, but her scents to come and go so keep checking back if you want it.

May 10th: Darling Clandestine - Vortex

Scent notes: ??? This winter is not your average winter, and Vortex is not your average "winter" fragrance. There's no evergreen, no mint, no "holiday" spice---just a vast expanse of cold, white and blue, frigid, soundless. Stark and invigorating, this fragrance is purely unisex.

This limited edition fragrance came out this past winter, which makes sense, seeing how it was an especially nasty one at all. I preordered a full bottle of this not even really knowing what the notes were, just because the description intrigued me so much. It’s an interesting scent, but unfortunately it doesn’t quite work (on me). To me it smells powdery and a little bit fruity with maybe a little bit of ozone in there? And something that is spicy but not “holiday” spice. But it does smell desolate to me, if such a thing is possible. Interesting, but not something I’d want to smell like every day.

May 11th: Solstice Scents - Private Eye

Scent notes: Cocoa Absolute, Myrrh EO, Pink Pepper EO, Black Pepper EO, Tonka absolute, Buddha Wood, Tobacco absolute, Coffee EO, Guiacwood, Rosewood EO, etc.

This is another example of something I bought just because the description intrigued me so much. I will repost an excerpt of it here for your amusement:

“A mix of vices: dark chocolate, black coffee and cigarettes wrapped in a worn leather bomber jacket and staked out in a tan '72 Buick Skylark on a humid night. Radio static white noise crackling through the speakers, cigarette ashes on the car door. Later: a dark office. Neon lights cut sharply through the shadows. The hot bulb of the film projector heats up. Rotating reels emanate the familiar smell of warm celluloid and dust motes, flying just inches away from the lens.

Private Eye is a raw, gritty and unusual fragrance that radiates atmosphere and mystery. This inspired scent is spicy, earthy, sweet and slightly smoky with the faintest trace of leather. An all natural blend of resinous myrrh, rich cacao, effervescent pink pepper, black pepper, tobacco absolute, coffee essential oil, choya loban, guaiacwood, tonka bean, aged patchouli, rosewood and the woody, candied clove-like scent of buddha wood essential oil, Private Eye seeks to take you on a suspenseful journey full of mystery, into a dark and tangled world of unraveling secrets.”

Um, WHOA. If nothing else, Solstice Scents has a serious knack for creative description (and capturing the essences of their fragrances pretty accurately). I don’t know about you, but I have a serious soft spot for noir and detective stories in general. The actual fragrance reminds me a lot of my uncle - he wasn’t a detective, but he was a film editor and a pack-a-day smoker. It smells like one of the many nearly-identical tan jackets that hung in his closet mixed with the woody/incensey scents of the Chinese antique shops my dad used to take me to when I was a kid. But I could just as easily see this smell being imprinted on a tableau of a private dick snuggled into the back booth of a shitty diner somewhere, stubbing out the last cigarette in his pack. Back when such things were still allowed in public, of course. The drydown is a bit sweet but I would still consider this to be a very masculine scent, and a bold one at that.

May 12th: Forever 21 - Untamed Love
Scent notes: Embrace your wild side with Love & Beauty's "Untamed Love", a perfume infused with notes of white rose, pink peony, juicy pear, and sandalwood.

When I think of "Untamed Love" I think of something really sultry and sexy. This smells more like light florals and canteloupe, which isn't exactly sexy but is very pleasant. This scent doesn't last very long on me, but unlike other cheap perfumes it just fades away gently (no weird sour smell). Considering that I picked up on a whim for $4 whilst on vacation I can't complain too much.

May 13th: Harvey Prince - Hello
Scent notes: Made with eco-friendly ingredients, this scent has all-day staying power. A top note of Meyer lemon captures the scent of fresh-squeezed lemonade, while Satsuma mandarin adds a double fruity note. Next up, summer forsythia and pink plumeria—traditionally found in Hawaiian leis—give the scent its heady floral layer.

Samples of this fragrance really seem to be making the rounds in the beauty box universe. I just got another one in my latest Beauty Box 5, so I decided to give it another try. This is a very pleasant, uncomplicated scent - it smells bright and citrusy with just a touch of flowers. I'm not sure I like it enough to buy the full size, but it's cheerful so I'm glad I chose to wear it.

May 14th: Wiggle Perfume - Buxom
Scent notes: A blend of buttery rich bourbon vanilla and redolent English rose, this fragrance smells like a posh patisserie and florist smooshed together. I've grounded this fragrance with a lavish red musk, and embellished it with a flirty hint of powder.

Written about in detail here. This is one of my favorite indie scents, but sadly it's been discontinued. I managed to pick up an extra bottle before it went away so I'll be smelling like pastries and flowers for just a bit longer.

May 15th: Sweet Anthem Perfumes - Walden
Scent notes: Petit Grain, White Pepper, Vintage Florals, Ambergris, Oakmoss

I got this as part of the Sweet Anthem List sample subscription service (which I'll probably write a separate blog post on soon). Anyway, this fragrance is fantastic - it smells fresh and green and aquatic. Sort of like sitting by a rural lake surrounded by trees on a misty day.

May 16th: Solstice Scents - Lace Draped Spectre
Scent Notes: A hauntingly feminine blend of Madagascar Vanilla, Baby's Breath, Pink Carnation and a hint of Green Pepper Essential Oil. The scent of an elegantly perfumed ivory lace shroud adorning the fleeting image of a mysterious visitor. Soft vanilla accentuated with a hint of spice and creamy floral.

I wrote about this in detail here. This is another favorite that's been discontinued - why does the universe do this to me?! I put this on before I went to the cemetery (not really thinking about how wearing a Spectre-themed fragrance to the graveyard was sort of ridiculous) and my sister said I smelled delicious, so... yay?


And that's it for week two. I haven't made a serious dent in my sample collection yet, but I'm realizing that I tend to heavily favor scents from certain brands - I guess that's normal. Writing all of this out is also teaching me a bit about my general taste in perfumes. I won't form any conclusions until the end though.

Have you tried any of the fragrances on this list? If you're also participating in the challenge feel free to link up or share your choices in the comments!


  1. Thanks to you I just spent the last 10 minutes reading the wiki entry for limerence :) Very interesting.
    That scent and Private Eye sound intriguing.
    My grandpa bought me a plot in a Jewish cemetery in NJ. Besides the creepiness of knowing it's waiting there for my dead body, I have no desire to be buried in Jersey. My apologies, Jerseyites.

  2. Is it too personal to ask which cemetery? Maybe you'll end up being groundmates with my relatives someday. Because that's not weird or anything. Thanks for the gift, grandpa!

  3. I don't even know; most likely it's in Bergen or Passaic county.

  4. Hah, that's OK. Just curious. It would have been a funny coincidence if it was the same one!

  5. I love Harvey Prince perfumes, I just wish that the scent lingered a bit longer. Whenever I wear any of mine (I have a few sample vials plus a full-sized bottle of "Eau Fling") I feel like they wear off after an hour or two.

    And I don't know why, but the description for "Vortex" is so entertaining to me. Something about smelling frigid and soundless is rather intriguing.

  6. Untamed Love and Buxom sound like scents I would like. That is a ton of diff perfumes!

  7. I'm bummed Buxom and Lace Draped Spectre are both discontinued because those both totally sound up my alley! I love vanilla + floral blends!

  8. Buxom was just discontinued recently. It looks like the seller has actually added a couple of bottles to her shop—I'm sure they're final stock, so if you want try it it's now or never I guess! https://www.etsy.com/listing/62324409/buxom-perfume-oil-5ml

  9. woot, ordered one (there were only 2 left, so i had to, obviously) and some samples to try. love that she's local to me too! :)